Nick Cropper

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Nick Cropper is the News Editor for the Niner Times. Currently, he is a senior pursuing a major in PR and a minor in journalism. Although he has lived in Charlotte for close to four years now, he is originally from Maryland. Contact him at news@ninertimes.com for questions or if you want to pitch a potential story.

SGA update Nov. 20

Members of the UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) met for their final Student Senate legislative meeting of the 51st session Nov. 20. This marks the last time that senate will meet for the semester.

John C. Smith University (JSU) SGA trip canceled

Earlier this semester, senators from JSU’s SGA made the trip to UNC Charlotte to observe UNC Charlotte’s legislative meeting. This was part of a merger of the two SGA’s that would foster many collaborative efforts between them. UNC Charlotte senators were supposed to travel to JSU, but the trip was canceled due to senators not being able to participate. The trip has been rescheduled for next semester.

New student organization

The Math Club is a new organization that forms a community for those interested in math. The club helps to inform students about the major and career tracks. It also offers help to students who are struggling in the subject.

Student Ticket Allocation Act

Student ticketing for football games has been an issue throughout the semester. UNC Charlotte must fill 15,000 in order to meet Conference USA attendance requirements. To meet this amount, SGA has passed the Student Ticket Allocation Act.

SGA made revisions to that act stating that reserved seats for students are to be cut to 4,000 from the original 7,500 starting in the 2015 season. 48 hours before game day, any unclaimed tickets will be available to the general public for purchase. However, students will still be able to their tickets during this period.

There will also be a penalty system in place for students who fail to redeem their tickets. On the first offense, students will not be able to claim a ticket for the next home game. If students fail to redeem a ticket for the second time in the same sport, they will not be able to claim a ticket for the rest of the season.

Financial Procedures Act (FPA) Revisions

Due to budget constraints, SGA has had to make revisions to the FPA. Each year, SGA is allotted $200,000 to spend for campus events and organizations and they has already spent half of this amount. In order to make sure that they have enough funding for the rest of the spring 2015 semester, SGA has made revisions to the FPA.

SGA has restricted travel grants to only official conferences and ceremonies for student organizations. These changes will not fund group retreats and other unofficial travel requests. Instead, SGA has ruled that group fees should fund these retreats. This is the third revision to the FPA this year and these changes are intended to be long term.

Student Advisory Board approves budget suggestions for 2015-17 academic years

The Tuition and Fees Advisory Board is a meeting in which 15 representatives of the student body gather and cast their votes on the changes to tuition and fees that will occur next year and the year after that.

The Advisory Board is charged by the Board of Governors to review academic fees and tuition rates for the academic school years of 2015-17. Unlike previous years, this was the first time that two years would be consolidated into a single meeting.

TutFees-201516

This meeting was moderated by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Arthur Jackson and President of the Student Body Steven Serio. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joan Lorden presented the tuition increases to the board.
Session one was held Nov. 12 and was focused on informing the board of the tuition changes and fee increases that they would be voting on.

Board members had the opportunity to ask questions regarding these changes to clarify what it was that the money would be going towards. The meeting went from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and was held in the Student Activity Center, Salons A-C.

The next day, board members gathered for the actual voting portion of the meetings. This session also gave UNC Charlotte students the opportunity to voice their opinions on certain issues regarding fees or the campus in general. This session was held Thursday in the Lucas Room of Cone University Center. It began at 3 p.m. and deliberations went on for three hours, one hour more than what was scheduled.

Members of the Advisory Board could choose to vote in favor of the change, against it or to abstain, which means to vote neither for nor against the motion. In the event the board was too differing, the vote would go to roll call. 14 members would cast their vote and the student body vice president, also a member of the board, cast a vote in the case of a tie.

The proposed tuition increase for undergraduate residents for the 2015-16 school year is three percent, a $106 increase. Tuition for 2016-17 will be raised by three percent as well, a $109 increase. This increase is to hire new faculty and staff and to keep salaries competitive compared to other universities in the UNC school system. It will also help aid the enforcement and accreditation of Title IX. The board approved of both of these increases.

TutFees-201617

Next were proposed changes to some college major fees. The colleges involved include the College of Arts and Architecture (COAA), the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) and the College of Engineering (COEN). Since there is no cap for these fees, it is the board’s judgment if whether or not these changes are reasonable.

This fee will eliminate the current $80 School of Architecture fee and the current $80 Ensemble Course fee. A proposition was made for a $125 increase for 2015-16 and 2016-17. It will cover equipment purchases, curriculum changes, professional training to students and wages.

The $125 increase was approved for the 2015-16 school year; however, the board felt that another increase of $125 the next year was excessive. Instead, the board passed a $60 increase for the 2016-17 school year.

CCI requested a $75 increase from $225 for 2015-16 school year and requested $0 for the next. The justification behind this increase is to provide additional funds for the purchase of new technology, lab support and lab assistants’ wages. The Advisory Board approved both of these requests.

The COEN requested a $100 increase from the current $200 fee for 2015-16 and $0 in 2016-17. This fee will help support equipment maintenance and upgrades, as well as increasing staff. The board approved both requests for the initial amounts.
Capital and Auxiliaries Budgets and Planning Manager Kevin Hyatt addressed student fee increases for 2015-17. There is a $99 cap for student fee increases for 2015-16 and a $104 cap for 2016-17.

The total amount requested for 2015-16 was $104. Members of the board would have to decrease this amount by $5 to fit within the cap. For the year of 2016-17 the total requested amount equaled $104 and the board would not have to make any changes.
During the second session, two students spoke to the board concerning the inadequate amount of fitness space on campus and the need for a recreational center. Student Body Treasurer Max Bauer proposed to start putting money aside for the construction of a Health and Wellness Center (HWC).

Members of the board recognize that there is demand for a HWC. However, this would mean that money would have to be taken away from programs that need it now, to be put aside for several years later when construction of the HWC begins.
Advisory Board members deliberated on this issue for an hour before reaching a conclusion. Advisory Board member Adam Duso made a motion on the floor to decrease all requested amounts by 9 percent for 2015-16 in order to fix the fees within the cap. This would bring the total to $96 leaving $3 for the HWC.

Since the 2016-17 fees already fit within the cap, the board just needed to decide where to take the $3 from for the HWC. Duso made another motion for a three percent decrease across the board. This would bring the total to $104.
The total fees requested for the year of 2015-16 that the Advisory Board approved goes as followed. Athletics will receive $26 out of $29, Education and Technology was approved for $46 out of $50, Health Services will increase fees by $10 rather than $11, Recreational Services was approved for $6 out of $7, SAC and Venue Management will receive $3 and Cone Operations was approved for $3.

Also, the Advisory Board recommended the student fee commission receive a $1 increase from their initial requested amount of $0. Including the $3 for the HWC, this brings the total to $99.

With the recommended three percent decrease to the requested amounts of 2016-17, the only changes that were made were to Athletics and Education and Technology. Athletics will receive $29 of their original $30 fee increase. Education and Technology was approved for $56 out of the original $60 request. Bringing the total to $104.

“I think that it sends a message to the chancellor and the board of trusties that students are willing to pay for a health and wellness center,” said Serio. “So I think that it’s going to weigh heavily in the future.”

Also, a fee that was not mentioned during the first day, but was brought up in the second was the matriculation fee. This fee combines four fees into one. It is a onetime fee of $100 that students will pay upon enrolling to UNC Charlotte. Students that take a period of time off from school will not be charged this fee again.

This fee will combine the fees for commencement ceremonies, withdrawals and new student welcoming ceremonies. It will also allow students an unlimited supply of transcripts even after graduating. The Advisory Board voted 13 in favor and two against, passing the fee.

Ultimately, the Advisory Board does not have the final say in whether or not these changes are passed, they show their support and advice changes to requested amounts. Once the Advisory Board has finished making their recommendations, it falls into the hands of UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubious. It then travels to the Board of Trustees until finally reaching the Board of Governors, where it is approved.

“We wanted a student board here because students are the ones that pay the fees, so we wanted their input in the decision making process,” said Jackson.

The Tuition and Fees Advisory Board will now meet every two years due to the biannual budget meetings. However, a meeting can occur next year if the Advisory Board feels that the fees for 2016-17 need to be adjusted or reviewed.

To find out more about the annual Tuition and Fees Advisory Board Meeting, or to find further information about the approved fees for the coming years, e-mail: vcstudentaffairs@uncc.edu

Geography professor awarded Provost’s Faculty Award for Community Engagement

Dr. Heather Smith, professor in the department of geography and earth sciences, has been awarded the 2014 Provost’s Faculty Award for Community Engagement in recognition of her constant involvement in the Charlotte area.

The award recognizes a UNC Charlotte faculty member whose research, teachings and community involvement embodies the university’s dedication to community outreach which ultimately strengthens the relationship between UNC Charlotte and the greater Charlotte area.

Smith’s research and teachings focus primarily on understanding the relationship between where people live and how they live. “As a geographer teacher I recognize that space, the spaces in which we live, the spaces in which we work and the spaces in which we spend our daily lives, have a very significant impact on our opportunity structures… on the direction that our life takes,” said Smith.

Much of Smith’s research is focused on the minority population in Charlotte, paying particular attention to the Latino community. Her work looks at both immigrants who have just recently migrated to the U.S. and immigrants who have long established residency in, not only Charlotte, but any major city.

Smith’s research between the dynamics of cities and immigrant settlement and adjustment first began roughly 20 years ago. Back then, Smith began looking into global cities along the northern border of Canada. She first started research in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. During the 1980s and 1990s, many immigrants who lived in these Canadian cities where not following the expected upward trajectory of success and integration over a longer period of time.

When Smith moved to Charlotte in the late 1990s, she recognized that Charlotte, the small city at the time, had become a destination for immigrants. How they were settling and adjusting to the area was different from what she had grown accustomed to in larger cities. “I very much see Charlotte as a city that is on the vanguard and the leading edge on a number of urban based issues,” said Smith. This became the inspiration behind Smith’s research.

Along with her research in the Latino community, Smith is also heavily involved in the Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary Care Research (MAPPR). MAPPR is a research and outreach program focused on improving healthcare access and results to immigrants, especially those that are underprivileged or underserved.

As one of the co-founders of MAPPR, Smith is responsible for working with a number of colleagues at UNC Charlotte in the department of geography and earth sciences, the Metropolitan Studies Unit and the school of nursing along with physicians and direct health care providers and researchers at Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS). Smith worked with Dr. Michael Dublin, a physician at CHS, in founding the outreach program.

During 2005, Smith was working with Owen Furuseth, associate provost for metropolitan studies at UNC Charlotte, when she first noticed that there was a need for improvements on ways to share healthcare information with the Latino population in Charlotte. Not only does MAPPR research those issues, but it also partners with the community to work towards a solution.

“So the research is the first part in what I would say is a three part process which ultimately ends with our group in partnership with the community itself working to actually create solutions,” said Smith. “So I think that that would be the most important difference between the kind of work that we do, you know in MAPPR and traditional academic research, we kind of run it all the way through.”

Over the course of her work, Smith has partnered with many other programs designed to shape the understanding immigration and settlement. She has worked with the Levine Museum of the New South to develop the Newcomer exhibit, the Speaking of Change program and the Latino New South Innovation Lab Team.

Smith was nominated by some of her colleagues at UNC Charlotte that felt that her work embodied much of what the award represented. “For me, being recognized for those collaborative partnerships I think is of tremendous value because it sends the message that doing work together at this university and with the community is highly valued and so I see it as I’m a representative of the success of all our teams and all of our work,” said Smith.

SGA update Oct. 30

The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) weekly Student Senate legislative meeting was held Oct. 30.

Wifi Issues on Campus

Information and Technology has recognizes that there are some areas on campus where the Wifi signal is either too weak or nonexistent. The issue is that there are not enough ports to cover all areas on campus. There are currently 1,600 ports and they will be adding more soon.

Add Deadlines for classes

UNC Charlotte currently has the longest add deadline of all the UNC system schools by five days. Teachers feel that students are able to join classes too late into the semester and will have already missed several lectures. Academic Affairs is working on fixing this issue.

Funding for the 2014-2015 School Year

Each year, SGA is given a budget of $200,000 to give to various campus organizations for events or travel grants. The goal of each year is to spend all of the money so that none remains at the deadline. Currently, SGA has already spent roughly half of their budget before the second semester. If this trend continues, SGA will be out of money in February. This means that they will be unable to fund events and travel grants for different UNC Charlotte organizations.

Academic Affairs Committee

The committee is looking deeper into the contextualized transcript idea and is currently asking students for their input on whether or not they would want a system like this. These transcripts will be much more detailed. They will show the median grade for that course of all students who took it, your grade, percentile range of that grade, the size of the class and it will even show students their expected GPA for their course load based off of other students who had similar schedules. This transcript is already in effect at UNC Chapel Hill and is currently one of the only schools who possess this.

Organizational Ways and Means Committee

UNC Charlotte student organizations will be able to request grants for events and travel online next semester. This will help to streamline the process and hopefully make it more available for student groups.

Student Affairs Committee

Student Affairs is currently measuring students appeal for a monitory system for the gym. The committee is also talking about requiring freshman to live on campus for their first year and removing their ability to have cars on campus.

New Student Organizations

Allied Health Club is focused on preparing and motivating students into further pursuing education towards a career in the field of health.

Believers Love World is a new organization whose purpose is aimed at promoting love and building good moral values in students based on biblical principles.

Pi Kappa Phi is a new group founded on the idea of creating leadership opportunities for members. Pi Kappa Phi is focused on creating a brotherhood between their members that develops leaders and encourages service to the community.

SGA update Oct. 23

The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) met for their weekly Student Senate legislative meeting Oct. 23.

Johnson C. Smith University SGA

Oct. 23 was the day the UNC Charlotte’s SGA hosted several senate members from Johnson C. Smith University (JSU). The purpose of inviting them to UNC Charlotte is to begin a merger between the two prominent Charlotte universities and hopefully use this new partnership to better both schools.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Arthur Jackson attended the meeting to welcome senate members from JSU to UNC Charlotte. SGA President of JSU Donyelle Mitchell introduced herself along with the rest of the SGA members and said a few words on their behalf.

This merger has been in the planning stages for several weeks now. SGA members from UNC Charlotte will visit JSU Nov. 18.

Messages to the Senate

Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Joan Lorden addressed the senate to talk about her responsibilities at UNC Charlotte and talk briefly about current projects. Lorden works with both Deans of colleges and students to improve upon academic programs and academic performance.

Currently, Academic Affairs is working on new Ph.D. and master’s programs. They are also thinking of ways to make master’s programs more available to students, making more efficient use of their time at UNC Charlotte. This would apply to students who have multiple majors and minors.

Early Voting Shuttles

Students interested in casting their votes early will be able to take designated shuttles to voting polls. These shuttles will be available Oct. 28 to 30. Shuttles will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be making trips every 30 minutes.

Conference on Ebola

There will be a conference regarding Ebola Oct. 28 in McKnight Hall. It will focus on clarifying facts and confronting fears about the disease.

Academic Affairs

Members of the Academic Affairs Committee are currently working on more detailed transcripts that will be available to students and fixing issues with academic advising.

Student Affairs Committee

The possibility of a recreational center at UNC Charlotte is unlikely to happen in the near future due to budget constraints.

Student Affairs is still working with members of the disc golf club on approving a plan for the new disc golf course.

Committee members are still looking into a monitoring system for Belk Gym and the gym located in the Student Activity Center to see if it is achievable. This system will allow students to check the capacity of each gym online.

New Student Organizations

Philosophy of the East and West is a new student organization that promotes culture, philosophy and volunteering through several activities and meetings. Activities include seminars, museum visits, trips to sacred sites, historical exhibitions and several others. The meetings will explore topics of philosophy ranging from eastern to western cultures.

SGA update Oct. 9

The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) met for their weekly Student Senate legislative meeting Oct. 9.

Raising Awareness for new Withdrawal Policy
Dean of Students Christine Reed-Davis and Jonathan Adams, dean and director of student conduct and outreach, addressed the senate regarding the new 16 credit hour withdrawal limit. They want to work with the SGA to spread more awareness about this new policy.
The new policy states that students may not withdraw from more than 16 credit hours over the course of their UNC Charlotte careers. There are few exceptions to this rule such as mental or physical health problems and military leave. It was put into effect for all colleges under the UNC school system.
Students can learn more about the new policy at the UNC Charlotte student affairs website.

NinerLunch
Davis will be holding a lunch for a select few UNC Charlotte students. The lunch will be held at the Bistro located in the Student Union and will be completely paid for.

Campus Clarity Program
The Campus Clarity Program is a new program that could begin as soon as January of 2015 or that summer. It will cover topics like alcohol, drugs and sexual intercourse. The program will be available to all students who want to learn more.

John C. Smith University and UNC Charlotte SGA Merger
There are now confirmed dates for when John C. Smith University’s SGA will sit in on UNC Charlotte’s legislative assembly and vice versa. John C. Smith University will visit Oct. 23 and UNC Charlotte will visit them Nov. 18.

Spotlight on a Senator
Senator profiles will be featured on Twitter and on rolling screens of their respective colleges.

New Student Organizations
The Jewish Awareness Christian Fellowship is a new organization devoted to the study and discussion of Historic Hebrew and Christian Biblical teachings concerning religious and geo political events.
American Concrete Institute is an organization with the goal of helping its members gain valuable experience and understanding of the concrete business, while establishing industry connections.

SGA Update, Oct. 9

The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) met for their weekly Student Senate legislative meeting Oct. 9.

Raising Awareness for new Withdrawal Policy

Dean of Students Christine Reed-Davis and Jonathan Adams, dean and director of student conduct and outreach, addressed the senate regarding the new 16 credit hour withdrawal limit. They want to work with the SGA to spread more awareness about this new policy.

The new policy states that students may not withdraw from more than 16 credit hours over the course of their UNC Charlotte careers.

There are few exceptions to this rule such as mental or physical health problems and military leave. It was put into effect for all colleges under the UNC school system.

Students can learn more about the new policy at the UNC Charlotte student affairs website.

NinerLunch

Davis will be holding a lunch for a select few UNC Charlotte students. The lunch will be held at the Bistro located in the Student Union and will be free.

Campus Clarity Program

The Campus Clarity Program is a new program that could begin as soon as January of 2015 or that summer. It  will cover topics like alcohol, drugs and sexual intercourse. The program will be available to all students who want to learn more.

Johnson C. Smith University and UNC Charlotte SGA Merger

There are now confirmed dates for when Johnson C. Smith University’s SGA will sit in on UNC Charlotte’s legislative assembly and vice versa. Johnson C. Smith University will visit the UNC Charlotte meeting on Oct. 23 and UNC Charlotte will visit theirs Nov. 18.

Spotlight on a Senator

Senator profiles will be featured on Twitter and on rolling screens of their respective colleges.

New Student Organizations

The Jewish Awareness Christian Fellowship is a new organization devoted to the study and discussion of Historic Hebrew and Christian Biblical teachings concerning religious and geopolitical events.

American Concrete Institute is an organization with the goal of helping its members gain valuable experience and understanding of the concrete business, while establishing industry connections.

U.S. Senate Debate

Free the Vote N.C. and Young Americans for Liberty have partnered up to bring an all-inclusive U.S. Senate debate for the 2014 election cycle to UNC Charlotte.

The debate will be held in McKnight Hall on Friday, Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.

For more info, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/337906073039258

Weekly Student Senate meetings are open to the public and are held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in Student Union, Room 200.

SGA update Oct. 2

​Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) met for the 51st legislative meeting Oct. 2.

Belk Gym Renovations
​Associate Vice Chancellor Student Union, Activities and Recreation Jim Hoppa, attended SGA to address the senate regarding Belk Gym, which is currently under construction. Belk Gym will add roughly 16,000 square ft. of fitness space once it is fully renovated in 2015. The gym, located inside of the James H. Barnhardt Student Activity Center, will also receive and upgrade once Belk is done so that students now have two up to date areas for recreational fitness.

Teacher Discussion Panel for Business Majors
​Business majors might see a discussion panel be implemented for them in the near future. The goal of this panel will be to assist students in the major and will consist of five guest speakers. This panel will be a test run and if it is successful, it will spread to other colleges as well.

UNC Charlotte SGA Merger
​During the middle of October, members of the Johnson C. Smith University SGA will sit in on one of UNC Charlottes Student Senate legislative meetings. SGA members from UNC Charlotte will do the same. There are no confirmed dates for this at the moment, but will happen within the coming months.

Disc Golf Course Proposal
​There is currently a proposal within the Students Affairs Committee to begin construction of a disc golf course at UNC Charlotte. The proposal is currently awaiting approval.

Kappa Delta Sorority
​The Kappa Delta Sorority at UNC Charlotte will not be receiving funding for the rest of the fiscal year due to controversy over an event held the week of Sept. 27. The SGA came to the conclusion that Kappa Delta had purposefully given misleading information so that they could receive funding for balloons and a ball pit that was to go outside of the Student Union. There were several infractions made by Kappa Delta and the SGA was forced to take disciplinary action. This is the first time in several years that a punishment such as this has been given.

New Student Organizations
​Charlotte Lifters is a new student organization aimed at helping students with a passion for body building or students that simply want to stay in shape. Help Me, Help You (HMHY) is a new organization dedicated to assisting incoming freshman and sophomores with the difficult transition of college life. HMHY’s goal is to assist these new students in any way possible and to give them any advice they might need.

Giving Green Campaign aids Charlotte beneficiaries

On Oct. 1, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC) will host the Giving Green Campaign for UNC Charlotte faculty and staff.

The Giving Green Campaign is a fundraiser designed to allow UNC Charlotte faculty to give back to any of three Charlotte community beneficiaries: the Arts and Science Council (ASC), the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) or the UNC Charlotte Foundation.  The deadline to register to attend the fundraiser ended Sept. 29 for any faculty member who wanted to participate.  UNC Charlotte employees can choose to donate to just one, two or all of these beneficiaries.

In addition to being able to donate to one of these beneficiaries, the Emergency Loan Fund will be having a bake sale. All proceeds raised by the bake sale will go towards the fund. The Emergency Loan Fund was established in 2009 and is an alternative for current UNC Charlotte employees to borrow money in emergency situations.

The fundraiser will be in the style of a carnival luncheon.  The Senior Associate Athletic Director, Darin Speace is the organizer of this fundraiser. Director of the Early College Program, Michele Howard and UNC Charlotte, Chancellor Phil Dubois also played a part in organizing the event and will be making remarks during the fundraiser. UNC Charlotte employees that participate in donating to any three beneficiaries will be entered into drawings to win prizes.

To find out more about the Giving Green Campaign, visit: http://givinggreen.uncc.edu/about-giving-green-campaign

SGA update Sept. 18

The UNC Charlotte 51st Student Government Association (SGA) weekly Student Senate legislative meeting was held on Sept. 18.

UNC Charlotte Athletic Director Judith Rose participated in the meeting to address topics related to the UNC Charlotte Athletics Department.

Women’s soccer

UNC Charlotte will be hosting the Conference-USA women’s soccer championship this year. The athletic department is aiming to raise awareness and attendance for the games.

Women’s volleyball fundraiser

Women’s volleyball will be holding their fundraiser for breast cancer and breast cancer awareness Oct. 10.

Football attendance for next year’s C-USA football

Much of the meeting was spent discussing what will be done about the football program for next year. Upon transferring into C-USA football, it is crucial to raise attendance.

The athletic program is doing a test run during this season to see what it is that they will have to change or improve to raise attendance at the games.

UNC Charlotte is expected to fill 15,000 seats for each home game. There were 6,732 student tickets sold for the first home game, however, only 4,019 students attended. It is crucial that UNC Charlotte students attend the games. The athletic department is working with SGA on ways that they might be able to facilitate increased attendance.

Let there be light

Construction of lights for the football stadium will begin after the 2014-15 season.

UNC Charlotte marching band

UNC Charlotte will have its first marching band appear at games during the 2015-16 school year. The band will consist of 150 members in its first season, but is expected to grow in the future.

The athletic department has already decided on uniforms and is currently in the process of recruiting.

Academic Committee

The Academic Committee addressed that they are currently thinking of ways in which they might improve academic advising.

They are attempting to make it more efficient and less time consuming for both students and advisors.

There are also talks about a “watch list” system for students who are unable to sign up for a class because it is at maximum capacity. Students who are on the watch list will be next in line for a seat in the class if one should open up.

Student Affairs

The Student Affairs Committee wants to create a new account that would allow declining balance in meal plans to carry over to future semesters.

The group is also trying to dedicate certain lots for tailgating.

The weekly Student Senate meetings are held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in Student Union Room 200. These meetings are open to the public, and each meeting includes a time for comments from the gallery for those who wish to address the senate.

International Festival attracts crowd of roughly 20,000 people

Photo by: Chris Crews
Photo by: Chris Crews

The 39th annual International Festival was held Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the courtyard of the James H. Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC).

UNC Charlotte students and members of the Charlotte community were able to travel the world in one day without ever having to leave campus

At the festival, there were booths representing over 50 countries, both inside and outside the SAC.

Operated by both student volunteers and volunteers from the Charlotte community, booths were designed to educate and entertain attendants of the festival. Booths were decorated with cloths, trinkets, pictures and even had videos playing throughout the day.

Volunteers were dressed in clothing traditional to their culture. Many of the booths played music, and volunteers sang songs in their native tongue and danced to the tune.

“New cultural organizations register to participate and new performers join the lineup each year. It is always exciting to see the countries and cultures represented at the festival through music, song, dance and food, or simply by having a conversation with those at the country booths,” said Maureen Gibson, coordinator of International Initiatives in the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte.

Inside the SAC, attendants could find several additional booths, along with dance performances and a live band.

Each country performed twice throughout the day, showcasing traditional dances and music.

Once one group finished their performance, another group took their place on stage. The live band played several different types of cultural music at the festival.

There was also a 20-foot inflatable globe that children could go inside and explore, an annual staple at the event.

Outside, there was an international games area featuring several games to play. Attendees had the choice of playing soccer, life-sized chess or bocce ball.

Photo by: Chris Crews
Photo by: Chris Crews

There were grills cooking fresh food at multiple outdoor booths. However, many of the booths that were selling food and drinks started to run out towards the end of the festival, and some attendants who arrived late were unable to taste some of the dishes.

Photo by: Chris Crews
Photo by: Chris Crews

Along with food, many of the booths were selling trinkets for a small price. There were items ranging from traditional jewelry and cloths, to plates and cups decorated in the countries heritage.

Some booths that had items for sale were: Peru, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Ecuador, Brazil and Egypt, among others.

International Festival began in 1975. Represented at the festival were some 15 countries, and it was attended by just a few hundred students and members of the community.

Since then, the International Festival has almost quadrupled the number of countries that are present and has raised attendance to roughly 20,000 people.

“It’s grown, it’s gotten a lot better and a lot more diverse. It seems like there’s more publicity and a lot more people,” said senior Spencer Clark. Clark has attended the festival in previous years, but this was his first year as a volunteer for Brazil.

 The International Festival is expected to continue to grow and educate the Charlotte community on its diverse cultural backgrounds.

“The 39th annual international Festival continues to be an important event in our community as it calls our attention on an annual basis to the rich cultural diversity and heritage represented at the university and in Charlotte,” said International Festival Founder Marian Beane.


Photos by Chris Crews.

IFest held to immerse students in culturally diverse environment

The International Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 outside of UNC Charlotte’s Student Activity Center. It is a public event with no admissions fee, open to not only students and their family members, but also to people in the Charlotte community.

The festival will host music, dancing and ethnic cuisine from over 50 different nations. Many of the cultures that were present last year will be returning, with some new additions as well.

There will be games native to the cultures that will be present at the festival. Each game is designed to not only entertain, but also to educate people on the game’s origins.

The Passport Project is one of the features that has been added over the years to help give a richer experience to participants. The purpose of the Passport Project is to encourage interaction among participants and booths. As participants visit various booths, they will be able to stamp a small passport to simulate having traveled around the world.

In addition, there will be a performances where each of the countries and cultures will have an opportunity to represent themselves in music and dance. These performances will take place twice during the event.

There will also be a 20 foot inflatable model of the earth that allows participants, particularly children, to explore the globe. They can do this from inside or outside of the model. Another attraction will be the Parade of Nations. This will be a parade featuring the different cultures as they show off their different garbs and customs.

Many of the booths will feature arts and crafts from their specific culture. Although most are simply for display, some of the crafts will be available for purchase.

Over 20 booths will be preparing food throughout the festival. The food that is prepared will be available for tasting and for purchase.

To find out more about the International festival, visit: http://ifest.uncc.edu

SoVi Dining Hall – not so far away

Photo by: Ben Coon
Photo by: Ben Coon

With the start of the 2014 fall semester, UNC Charlotte students were promised a new dining hall to greet them on their arrival to campus. Unfortunately, and to many students’ surprise, they found that the South Village Crossing and SoVi had not yet been completed.

SoVi, located inside South Village Crossing, is the new dining hall located next to the freshman high rises. It was originally scheduled to be up and running with the start of the 2014 fall semester. However, the construction of the dining hall has met several delays even when it was still in the early stages of construction.

With the interior nearly completed, the only section of the building that must be finished is the stairs leading to the front entrance. The soil that the stairs are supposed to be built on was deemed to be unsuitable due to its weak composition and its lack of capacity to support the weight.

“If I had to pick one [issue], I would say the soil, and we’ve had some other things we’ve had to work through because it is a very complicated building inside, because of the combination of the equipment and the cooling systems. There’s a lot going on,” said Keith Wassum, associate vice chancellor for Business Services in the Division for Business Affairs.

Project managers determined that it was the debris of previous construction in the area several years ago that caused the soil to become unsuitable, but it is still relatively unclear. This has been a persistent problem for the team almost since day one. Although the rest of the building’s foundation does not suffer from such a condition, it has still caused major delays on the dining hall.

“This is a really difficult site … We did a whole master plan and if we would have built [the parking lot adjacent the construction site] well our life would have been a lot easier because it’s flat. So build on the hill with the suitable soil and the complexities of the building, there were a lot of challenges,” said Wassum.

South Village Crossing is comprised of two floors. The first floor is mostly seating while the second floor houses the main dining hall, SoVi. In the main dining hall, students will have several options that they can choose from.

Cooking at the various stations will take place in front of the students where they will be able to interact with chefs, which is different from what other dining options on campus provide. These stations will also give students more options to choose from and offer a variety of healthy eating options.

 On the second floor students will find more seating and additional dining options. This floor will offer several dining options including: an on-site bakery, a convenience store (which will not be Outtakes, but similar to it), SoVi Market and Bakery and a take-out venue called SoVi2go, which will offer students quick meals to pick up on the go.

Photo by: Ben Coon
Photo by: Ben Coon

The Denny’s, or ‘The Den,’ that is included in the new dining hall is planned to stay open until 2 a.m., offering students more late night dining options on campus.

SoVi will be able to seat 800 plus customers, which is almost double what Crown Commons currently seats, with more room for additional seating if needed.

There will also be outdoor terrace space and multipurpose rooms that students can use. The function of these multipurpose rooms will be determined once students get a chance to experiment with them and decide what it is that students need most.

“[SoVi] has been designed with future growth in mind and will offer students the opportunity to dine and interact with a culinary team that will be serving up a variety of fresh and tasteful dishes,” said Director of Auxiliary Services Ana Alvarez.

 Currently, discussions are going on about what will be done with the Residence Dining Hall (RDH) once SoVi is open. Although there are no concrete plans yet, there are several ideas that are still being considered such as refurnishing RDH for additional housing or turning it into a small fitness center. The Cone Center is a similar situation to RDH and is expecting an upgrade in the years to come.

South Village Crossing construction is expected to be finished and the dining hall open to students in either October or November of this year, although there is no confirmed date at this point.

Students may see an early opening, without the option of regular dining. This will give students an opportunity to explore the new dining hall before its official opening.

To find out more about SoVi, visit: http://aux.uncc.edu/dining.